Spartans to face off against Carnegie Mellon in football opener

JP. O’Hagan, Sports Editor

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The Spartans will kick off the football season tomorrow night at home against archrival Carnegie Mellon University for the 28th Annual Academic Bowl.

We at The Observer are really excited for the game as not only the contest mark the start of football season, but the Tartans are our obvious archrivals. The Spartans have faced the Tartans annually since 1970 and will be looking to add an eighth consecutive Academic Bowl win. At the end of last season, the Spartans bounced from a hard loss against Washington University in St. Louis to beat the Tartans on their home field in Pittsburgh by a score of 35-32. This game holds extra weight as both Case Western and Carnegie Mellon are now affiliate members of the President’s Athletic Conference, and this game will count toward both those standings and their usual UAA standings. The Observer sports staff has, in preparation for this game, diligently reviewed stats and previews and is prepared to predict the scores for each of the Spartans’ 10 games this season.

First, looking at previous matchups, the Spartans have a steady history of success on their side over the last decade under head coach Greg Debeljak as he enters his 11th season. Debeljak has coached the Spartans to a 72-31 record and the team is previewed fourth in the PAC, which is a big honor for a new team. The one concern for the Spartans, who have won 12 consecutive season openers, is that the last one we lost was against Carnegie Mellon in 2001, when the Tartans routed the Spartans by a score of 42-14.

Based off these facts and the wide variety of stats we have looked over, The Observer predicts a narrow victory over the Tartans, with the Spartans riding the boost of home-field advantage to a 24-21 victory.